How do we teach English as a second language?

There are many ways to learn English as a second language – the simplest way is to just speak English more. The more you use it, the better your comprehension will be.

Of course, that isn’t all that you can do to improve your English – if you want to know how to gain confidence in speaking English, the best thing you can do is enrol in a formal English language class.

Explore our government funded EAL courses in Melbourne

In addition to offering EAL courses that meet some of the highest quality standards in Australia, our EAL courses are also covered by government funding, meaning you might be eligible to study for free thanks to Victorian government funding.

If you:

  • Live in Victoria
  • Are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or Australian permanent resident
  • Are an asylum seeker
  • Do not hold a AQF level 5 (Diploma) or higher
  • Are not enrolled in the Commonwealth Government’s Skills for Education and Employment program

These aren’t the only government funded courses in Victoria that we offer, either – use our self-assessment to find out if you are eligible for a government funded course online.

What are the principles of second language teaching?

How teachers can help English language learners

There are many advantages of learning English.

However, there are only a handful of ways of teaching it that are truly effective. After all, many second-language speakers need special teaching to help them pick up the language.

That’s why second language teachers – including both official teachers as well as people who have agreed to help their friends – need to use certain techniques and principles to ensure that their students have an easy time learning.

Principle #1: support and understand your students’ learning style

Students come from different cultures and educational backgrounds, and have different personalities and learning methods. Each student is different from each other. 

When teaching English as a second language, it’s important that teachers know their students. In particular, they need to know things like:

  • Their current skill level
  • How they learn
  • Their strengths and weaknesses
  • What challenges them

All of this is important for preparing materials, lesson plans, activities and projects that will cater to a wide range of learning methods.

Principle #2: immerse students in an English speaking environment

The best way to help students pick up English is by creating an English speaking environment. This can make a big difference in helping your students improve their listening and speaking skills.

Doing so helps encourage them to think in English and practice their skills, and gives them a more realistic experience with the language compared to other methods.

Immersing your students in an English-speaking environment helps expose them to different English expressions, words, sentences, accents and ideas that will help them quickly become familiar with how English is used in the real world.

There are a lot of benefits in doing this English immersion.

Done right, it can be a win-win for both you and your student:

  • Passively learning the language
  • Gaining a real-life opportunity to practice
  • Applying and trying what they’ve learned
  • A natural way of learning – and learning

Of course, it’s important to make sure you remember the first principle – not all students will have strong enough foundational skills to make this type of learning possible.

Principle #3: make sure they know the rules

Strengthening your student’s English language skills starts by practising. However, it’s also important that they know the rules as well.

A lot of students who try learning on their own only focus on improving their vocabulary and pronunciation. Both of these are important – however, the words themselves are only one part of being understood.

Good grammar and sentence structure are just as important, which is why you should focus on giving your students a strong understanding of grammar and other principles.

Principle #4: monitor and assess student language development

A good teacher doesn’t just teach – they also look at how their students are performing.

Language growth and improvement in students should be assessed and monitored consistently to track the progress and figure out where they might be struggling.

That can mean sitting down with them and asking:

  • What they find difficult
  • How confident they feel
  • Testing their skills
  • Asking them if your teaching style is working
  • Giving constructive feedback to improve their proficiency

What is the best way to learn English?

Study English as an additional language at Academia

These are some of the principles an English teacher should follow – and it’s principles like this that our English instructors practice when providing English courses in Melbourne.

Academia offers NEAS-approved English courses. What this means is that both our resources and our teachers have received the English Quality Assurance certifying their quality and skill. Our English teachers are ranked among the highest for the English Language Teaching (ELT) sector!

Not only are they knowledgeable, but they are also trained in a range of techniques and systems to help second-language speakers learn more effectively.

With the option of both the face-to-face and online learning options, students have more flexibility and freedom with how they build their timetable.

How long does it take to learn English as a second language?

It would take you 25 weeks to finish Certificate II in our English as an additional language (EAL) course and 23 weeks to complete Certificate III in EAL.

While these government funded courses are held in our Melbourne campus, our remote learning option means that students from all over the country can enrol in and complete English as an Additional Language from wherever they are.

Enrol in Academia’s English courses in Melbourne today

Learning English requires you to build strong foundations – luckily, that’s something we can help with with our EAL courses, each of which are taught by experienced and qualified instructors who understand the best way to improve your English skills, no matter your level. 

Once you’ve completed an EAL course with Academia, you can develop your skills even further, with further English courses such as:

Learn more about our EAL courses today: